Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:You can switch it off. (Score 1) 195

Just tried it. Giffgaff's site says: "Note: When setting your phone to block your access to 18+ content please be aware that this is limited to those sites, games or services where the content providers have a commercial relationship with giffgaff / The Telefonica group."

Does this mean you cannot turn the "porn" filter off at all, and it just allows you to access the 18+ content that Giffgaff has deemed appropriate?

Comment Re: Not-so-accurate source (Score 1) 487

I think the guy you're replying to may have got a false impression of the way the inspectors themselves behave, from the way the license fee guys continuously send increasingly threatening letters to anyone that doesn't have a license. When I was a student, I didn't have a TV license because I did not watch TV. I still don't. I got an endless stream of letters about the fact I was lacking a license, telling me I should send them a letter back explaining that I did not need one, and should submit to an inspection of my premises as evidence to show that I don't watch their frankly almost universally godawful TV shows.

I didn't, basically because this annoyed me. More and more letters arrived - one every few weeks - until eventually they were sending out these weird fake court summons papers, which were just mass printed with my name added to the bottom automatically. They were not court summons, or fines, or whatever they were clearly disguised as; instead, it said somewhere on them that this may be a taste of things to come if I did not pay up, and they found proof that I was - gasp - watching TV.

It was all pretty sinister to be honest.

Comment Won't this end up being sentient? (Score 1) 181

If we make an exact copy of a human brain, will it not just be an actual person? At which point we can't really experiment on it any more. After all, if we were okay with experimenting on a real living brain, why not just experiment on some random people? There's loads of them. They barely use those things anyway.

At the very least, this thing needs to have some means to communicate so that we know when it becomes sentient. Otherwise we might be experimenting on an actual, feeling, thinking person without even knowing about it.

I don't mean this project shouldn't happen. I just mean that the ethics need to be carefully considered first.

Comment Re:But funding is dependent on journal publication (Score 2) 55

The aim is that, even if an academic publishes their work in a traditional subscription journal, a version of their article would simultaneously appear on the freely available repository.

It looks like they want the info published in the high impact journals, but also in the national archive. This sidesteps the whole "looking bad on a CV or research grant application" problem. Unless there's some licensing issue with the big journals, but you'd imagine the government could deal with that. Maybe.

Comment Independent learning (Score 4, Interesting) 274

This kid seems to have gotten the right idea. Maybe even if the teachers aren't using them properly, giving naturally curious kids access to a whole world of information will help them out anyway.

Or maybe that guy was just a unique case, I don't know. That video made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside however.

(If you can't be bothered to watch the video, shame on you! But also, it's about a child in Peru who works cleaning people's shoes on the streets. He has an OLPC laptop, though, and he uses it to educate himself with wikipedia.)

Comment Re:Yep, keep voting for higher taxes (Score 1) 82

True, Galloway did just win that by-election. But as you yourself say, this is a rarity, and it's unlikely to have any real impact on national government. Looking at the history of British elections, it's almost always the Labour or Conservative parties in power. When there's a coalition - not very often - it's made up of Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, just like now.

You could say it was a three party system if you wanted to stretch it, but the current coalition isn't really acting like anything more than a Conservative party, so I'm not really sure that would be much of an improvement.

It's not totally unassailable though, as you said. Which is good. It's just really, really difficult to change it. The original poster way above this was raving at us voters for bringing about this frankly rather scary surveillance proposal, but with it being that difficult to get any democratic change from the perspective of a single slashdot reader, we really don't have that much control over such matters.

You're right about the Scotland thing as well, which is why I said England instead of UK. It's a bit more complicated north of the border. I'm not sure escaping to another country is quite the same as democratic change though. I see you've mentioned tuition fees as well - unfortunately for us English, we still have to pay English tuition fees even if we run away to Scotland. They think of everything, don't they?

Comment Re:Yep, keep voting for higher taxes (Score 1) 82

England doesn't have a national government. Local government tends to vary between the 3 major parties and often have coalitions and independent councillors.

As the other reply to this post says, that's not really true. We have local government, councils, and also of course local MPs - although they are part of the national parliament. It's not the local councils who are responsible for the proposed internet monitoring, it's the national government - a cabinet made up mostly of MPs that run the country nationally.

It's currently in a coalition, but this is the first time in ages that this has happened. Usually the Liberal Democrats have next to no power; hence the two party system. Even if it was a three party system, if all three of them were functionally identical this would have the same problem. As this coalition has shown; they are.

This actually makes the small minority of swing voters think they're empowered (95% of the votes in the UK are meaningless, it's only marginal votes in marginal constituencies that count). And they are, they get to choose between Labour and Conservative.

Yes, they get to choose between Labour and Conservative. That's the problem.

Those riots were generally people nicking TVs and trainers.

That's an over simplification. It's a matter of extensive debate at the moment, though, and I simply mentioned the riots in order to lead into my point that the general population is too apathetic, or more optimistically speaking, too content, for rebellion. Their causes are not really relevant to my point.

There was a lot of anger about bankers recently too, so occupy London camped outside of St Paul's, then enforced the view they were work-shy homeless hippies and fell off the the news radar before, quite rightly, being removed as the pointless eyesore it was.

That's a strange view to take. Is everyone angry about the bankers a work-shy hippie? I'm pretty angry about the economic situation, and I barely smell of patchouli at all.

Comment Re:Yep, keep voting for higher taxes (Score 4, Insightful) 82

I agree. But what is the alternative? England, which is where this is happening, has an effective two party system. Like most places. On an individual basis, you realistically have two choices, and they will both lead to the same thing.

Theoretically, someone should be able to start their own party, and get voted into power by running policies specifically for the people. This is more difficult than it sounds, however, because you have to take into account that people do not vote rationally. Some might, relatively speaking, but probably the majority just vote for the same party forever.

A popular uprising is a route around this. This requires the populace to be angrier and less apathetic than they are now, though, and while we had some nasty riots recently, they were nowhere near the numbers required to actually pull off a regime change. To get one of those, the living conditions in the country in question need to be much, much worse than they currently are in the UK.

Blame can only be placed on the individual voter up to a certain point, as they have to work within the system they have, and with the people they are surrounded by. Of course, the people causing this problem are all individual voters too. But they are unlikely to be reading comments on slashdot. Even if you shouted this in their face, they would probably react with hostility, because their behaviour isn't really guided by stone-cold logic, and a lot of people don't like their behaviour being questioned. Also, you'd be shouting in their face.

This situation isn't as bad as it sounds, though. If quality of life here got really bad, a popular uprising would occur. It's self regulating - if the system gets that bad, it will get replaced. If it doesn't, then hey, things are going pretty well, relatively speaking. Unless technology gets so advanced that rebellion becomes impossible, in which case, we'll all be screwed.

Submission + - New iPad Hotter Than Ever... Literally (

sl4shd0rk writes: The Apple forums continue to accumulate reports of the new ipad suffering from uncomfortable heat issues. Consumer reports measured the temperature at 116 Deg. Farenheit (because we do that here). While not quite the temperature of thermite it's hotter than it's predecessors. Apple has issued a statement on the problem, however it only tends to make one believe the welts left behind are actually a feature.

Comment Proof? (Score 1) 244

I'm genuinely curious about this - is there actually any compelling evidence that trying to target your customer's subconscious actually works?

People seem to take it for granted that it does, but I've never seen anyone actually prove it.

Slashdot Top Deals

"You stay here, Audrey -- this is between me and the vegetable!" -- Seymour, from _Little Shop Of Horrors_